Conclusions and recommendations

The Conclusions and Recommendations may be combined or, in long reports, presented in separate sections. If there are no recommendations to be made as a result of the project, just call this section Conclusions.

The Conclusions section sums up the key points of your discussion, the essential features of your design, or the significant outcomes of your investigation. As its function is to round off the story of your project, it should:

  • be written to relate directly to the aims of the project as stated in the Introduction
  • indicate the extent to which the aims have been achieved
  • summarise the key findings, outcomes or information in your report
  • acknowledge limitations and make recommendations for future work (where applicable)
  • highlight the significance or usefulness of your work.

The conclusions should relate to the aims of the work:

Example 1:

Aim

The aim of this project is to design a mobile phone tower for a suburban location..

Conclusions

The mobile phone tower presented here can be erected safely in a suburban street.

It requires a total  area of no more than 2m2 l, and has the following safety features:...

Example 2:

Aim

This investigation will review the volume of passengers using the Monash University Clayton-Caulfield inter-campus bus in order to recommend adjustments to the service if needed.

Conclusions

Analysis of the survey data obtained in this project shows that use of the Clayton-Caulfield inter-campus bus has increased by 24% in the past five years. It is recommended that frequency be increased during peak usage...

The Conclusions section below is from a level 2 Civil Engineering Alternative Designs report presenting two designs for a an overpass bridge. Click on the coloured buttons to see the comments.

Conclusions

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Each of the two bridge designsLecturer's comment:
An elegant beginning for a Conclusions follows on neatly from the preceding discussion. In this case, it also indicates that the aims of the project have been met.
presented in this report fulfil the criteria specified in the project brief. Both designsLecturer's comment:
The main findings or outcomes - in this case the key features of the designs - are then recapped.
incorporate round piers on piled foundations, which are used because the soil conditions are unknown and possibly unstable. Design 1, a simple composite I-girder bridge, has the advantage of being made of steel and thus has longer spans and fewer piers.

Design 2, a super-T beam bridge, requires minimal formwork in the construction of its concrete deck, is relatively easy to erect and will maintain stability during transportation and construction. In addition, it is more economical to build and maintain. Design 2 Lecturer's comment:
The significance of the outcome - in this case the final recommendation - is clearly stated.
is therefore recommended. It offersLecturer's comment:
To finish off, the achievement of the project is reinforced.
an affordable overpass with superior durability, and fully meets the requirements of the design brief.

Recommendations

Always address limitations and suggest how they might be overcome in future work. The excerpt below is from the Conclusions of a report on a project investigating the effect of pulsation on heat transfer in horizontal pipe flow.

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Experimental results Lecturer's comment:
Key conclusions drawn from the project.
showed that pulsed flow without flow reversal had no significant effect compared with steady flow. Preliminary experiments with reversed flow, however, clearly indicated increased heat transfer. This is likely dueLecturer's comment:
Provide a possible explanation for notable results, especially unexpected ones.
to the large disturbances in the hydrodynamic boundary layer when the flow changes direction. Further researchLecturer's comment:
Recommend further research to address any extra work you think would be useful.
is recommended to determine the maximum achievable enhancement.

It should be noted thatLecturer's comment:
Acknowledge limitations or errors and suggest explanations and/or solutions.
the experimental results do not agree with the theoretical equations. This may be due to the deposits which developed inside the pipe, or to inconsistent thermocouple temperature. Therefore, regular inspection of the test rig is recommended.

For a very long report, it is acceptable to present the conclusions and recommendations in point form:

The prototype robot courier presented here has been shown to be capable of delivering documents autonomously in an office environment. It has demonstrated the following components of mobile robotics:

  1. Localisation: The Kalman filter-based localisation algorithm achieved sub-centimeter accuracy under normal operating conditions.
  2. Environment modelling: The occupancy map was updated dynamically to include obstacles not included in the original map.
  3. Path planning: A distance transform-based path planner using obstacle transforms produced a globally optimal local entrapment-free path to the goal.

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